Man Was Dissolved in Acidic Water After “Hot Pot” Attempt in Yellowstone Park Goes Wrong

November 18, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

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Rest in peace.  

Back in June, a 23-year-old man died in Yellowstone National Park after being completely dissolved in acidic water in one of the park’s hot springs, according to an official report.

Until now, details on what really happened were scarce, but local news station KULR filed a Freedom of Information Act request, and the official report was thereby released.

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The man was trying to “hot pot” — or soak himself in Yellowstone’s hot springs — but ended up falling into one of the springs in the Norris Geyser Basin. Hot potting is by no means a safe practice, and Yellowstone explicitly forbids it in the park.

"In a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving," Lorant Veress, the deputy chief ranger of Yellowstone, told KULR.

The man, Colin Scott, was accompanied by his sister Sable, who tells KULR that he slipped and fell into the springs, which tragically happened to contain some of the hottest and most acidic waters in the entire park.

Rescue rangers immediately rushed to the scene after receiving a call about Scott’s body in the pool, but they weren’t able to recover his remains due to a lightning storm. Upon returning the next day, his body and personal belongings had been completely dissolved.

According to TIME, at least 22 people are reported to have died in hot spring-related incidents in and nearby Yellowstone National Park since 1890.

For Yellowstone visitors, it’s important to keep in mind that the park sits on top of a geologically active supervolcano, which bubbles below the surface and heats up the geysers and springs in the area, ScienceAlert reports.

In fact, the water can reach scalding temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius), and the chemicals spewed out by hydrothermal vents render it extremely acidic. It’s for these reasons that Yellowstone rules forbid visitors from deterring from the park pathways.

In the wake of this tragedy, we wish Scott’s family the best in finding peace.

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